The village of Beeley (the Begelie of Domesday) lies about four miles from Bakewell. The manor was in the Crown at the time of the Domesday survey. In the reign of Richard I. it belonged to Warner de Beelegh, who was succeeded by his son Serlo. At a later period it was in the family of Cheney of Northamptonshire, whose heiress married Thomas Lord Vaux of Harrowden, in the reign of Henry VIII. Nicholas Vaux, Esq., his younger son, having succeeded to his mother's estate sold it in 1560 to ------ Dean and John Greaves. The ancestors of the latter had resided at a place called the Greaves in this chapelry, as early as the reign of Henry III. William Saville Esq., purchased it of the Greaves family in 1687. It appears to have afterwards divided into twelve shares, which were in the families of Norman, Brown, and Wright. The whole is now the property of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire; having been purchased in 1747, of Brown and Wright, by William, third Duke of Devonshire. The Duke of Rutland has a court-leet over Beely etc., which was purchased by his ancestor of the Greaves family, in the reign of James I.
In the chapel at Beeley, are monuments of the Saville family, a younger branch of the Savilles of Howley in Yorkshire, which became extinct by the death of George Saville, Esq., in 1734. They resided at the Greaves afterwards called the Hill-top, which latter name it still retains. George Saville's monument was put up by his nephew and heir, John Gilbert Cooper, Esq.
Bassano's volume of Church notes mentions a memorial for John Greaves, Esq., 1694, and Anne his wife, 1700.
It appears by Archbishop Peckham's ordinance of that date, that there was a chapel at Beely in 1280, and that the minister there had five marks per annum, payable partly by the dean and chapter of Lichfield, and partly by the inhabitant. It seems that the chapel had gone to decay, and a new one had been built, to which no endowment was attached before the year 1473, the date of the following curious instrument, the original of which is in the collection of Adam Wolley, Esq., of Matlock. This instrument states: "That there is a devoute chapell in Beley in Derwent-dale, which is a new begonne thing of our sweet lady St. Mary, and hafe nothing but through the grace of God and the almes of goode men and wymmen, but that won Sir John Eyre, chapeleyn, movid with grace and vertue, hath laboured and done great cost there, as well of his owne proper costs as of his pore neighburs, and hath gotten therto boke, bell, vestment, and chales, and hath a preest there saying mass dayly before our sayde ladye for all brethren and sisters, and all good doers thereto, and purposeth through the grace of God and our sayde ladye and succoure of good men and wymmen, to found a preest there for ever, to pray for all the benefactors and goode doers thereto, which he may not utterly perform without refreshyng and almesdede of goode men and wymmen, wherefore if hit please you to shew your blessed almes thereto, hit is your owne, and our said blessed lady will reward you; and also we have sent amongst you won Thomas Willymot, which is a very trewe proctour, and a special benefactor and good doer there. To which present writing," etc.
The patronage of the parochial chapelry of Beeley is vested in the Duke of Devonshire.
An act of parliament for inclosing lands in Beeley passed in 1811, by which allotments in lieu of tithes of corn were given to the Duke of Devonshire as impropriator, and for tithes of wool and lambs, to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.
Harewood Grange, in the chapelry of Beeley, was given to Beauchief Abbey in the latter part of the 12th century by Warner de Beelegh. King Henry VIII granted it to Frances Leake, Esq. It is now the property of the Marchioness of Ormond having passed in the same manner as Sutton.